Support for the Untie the Elderly program should be directed through Kendal Charitable Funds. You can learn more by visiting The Kendal Corporation.
"I certainly do not hesitate to express a strong
personal conviction that the use of mechanical restraint in any asylum, public
or private, is an indication of a badly-managed institution."
Professor Maudsley, Practitioner, 1870
In the early 1980's, life for nursing home-bound Margaret Smith meant endless
hours tied into a geriatric chair. No conversation with her peers. No visitors
stopping by. Only the occasional interaction with a nursing assistant who
systematically removed her restraints, changed her incontinent brief, and
securely tied the restraint as she repositioned her into the chair.
In 1986 a Senate committee, led by the late Senator John Heinz, investigated
nursing homes. In their Institute of Medicine report, deplorable
conditions and poor quality of care were revealed. The elderly were being
treated as less than human, their personal rights and dignity removed. It was
no wonder that nursing homes were feared and families agonized over placing a
loved one in a facility.
Kendal's Untie the Elderly mission began quietly in 1989 when its board of
directors released some unrestricted bequest funds to launch a campaign to
bring the issue of restraints to a national audience. Kendal's mission led to a
successful symposium on Capitol Hill co-sponsored with the U.S. Senate Special
Committee on Aging. This gathering focused national attention on the need to
provide better care for the elderly through the elimination of restraint use.
Kendal's mission continues today and is dedicated to the late Emily Wilson, a
retired physician and former resident of Kendal at Longwood, who believed that
a restraint is "an insult to, an attack upon, the unique spirit of a human
being; it treats him as less than human, it manipulates him, it destroys his
self-respect. It is imposed upon confused, inarticulate, difficult people who
are given no choice in the matter."